ASA bans Diesel ads for offensive images

Diesel’s deliberately controversial ad campaign has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority, following 83 complaints from the public.

Diesel’s deliberately controversial ad campaign has been banned by

the Advertising Standards Authority, following 83 complaints from the

public.



However, the ASA has cleared a Start-Rite Shoes ad despite 25 complaints

that it had sexual overtones and was tasteless.



The Diesel campaign, which is Lowe Howard-Spink’s first work since being

appointed to the business in January, featured young women as denim-clad

nuns, the Virgin Mary in jeans and a serial killer dismembering

bodies.



The ads, which ran in the style press, posters and on London

Underground, were designed to be tongue-in-cheek visual puns and were

not intended to be taken seriously, Diesel maintained. The serial killer

ad used the phrase ’Our workwear suits labourers, clubbers, murderers or

anyone else who needs lots of odd shaped pockets’.



The ASA judged that even if the dismemberment was meant to be ironic, it

was unacceptable and likely to cause serious offence.



The Start-Rite ad, featuring Julian Clary holding a little girl’s sandal

and crying because he could not wear the shoe, was deemed

acceptable.



The complainants had objected to the image of a homosexual holding a

child’s shoe. The ASA decided the ad would not be interpreted as the

complainants suggested.